B-168068, NOV. 7, 1969

B-168068: Nov 7, 1969

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GAO WILL NOT LOOK BEHIND SELLING PRICE TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER IT INCLUDES CLOSING COSTS SELLER AGREES TO PAY SO AS TO PERMIT PURCHASER . IS ACTUALLY PAYER THEREOF. THE BILL FOR COLLECTION IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT YOU WERE REIMBURSED CLOSING COSTS WHICH WERE PAID BY THE SELLER. YOU INDICATE THAT SUCH CLOSING COSTS WERE INCLUDED IN THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE RESIDENCE AND THAT YOUR LOAN WAS INCREASED TO THAT EXTENT WHICH IS TANTAMOUNT TO THE CLOSING COSTS BEING PAID BY YOU. YOU SAY YOU HAD NOT BEEN INFORMED OF OUR DECISIONS HOLDING TO THE CONTRARY UNTIL COPIES THEREOF WERE ENCLOSED WITH THE FINANCE DIVISION'S MEMORANDUM DATED MARCH 26. THOSE DECISIONS ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT WE WILL NOT LOOK BEHIND THE SELLING PRICE OF A RESIDENCE TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER SUCH PRICE INCLUDED CLOSING COSTS WHICH THE SELLER HAD AGREED TO PAY SO AS TO PERMIT THE PURCHASER .

B-168068, NOV. 7, 1969

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--HOUSE PURCHASE- CLOSING CHARGES REVIEWING BILL FOR COLLECTION COVERING OVERPAYMENT TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE OF CLOSING COSTS PAID BY SELLER AND INCLUDED IN PURCHASE PRICE OF RESIDENCE AT NEW STATION, GAO WILL NOT LOOK BEHIND SELLING PRICE TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER IT INCLUDES CLOSING COSTS SELLER AGREES TO PAY SO AS TO PERMIT PURCHASER -- IF SUCH BE THE FACT -- TO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT OF CLOSING COSTS ON BASIS HE, THE PURCHASER, IS ACTUALLY PAYER THEREOF, NOR MAY EMPLOYEE'S LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF GAO DECISIONS IN THIS AREA SERVE AS BASIS FOR ALLOWING THIS PARTICULAR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, OVERPAYMENT SHOULD BE REFUNDED.

TO MR. CHARLES P. DAMON:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1969, REFERENCE 06-41, REQUESTS THAT WE REVIEW THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION'S BILL FOR COLLECTION NO. 199 DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1969, FOR THE AMOUNT OF $622.25 WHICH REPRESENTS THE OVERPAYMENT OF REAL ESTATE EXPENSES TO YOU ON YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER DATED APRIL 5, 1968, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT YOUR NEW OFFICIAL STATION, AUSTIN, TEXAS, UPON TRANSFER FROM BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA.

THE BILL FOR COLLECTION IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT YOU WERE REIMBURSED CLOSING COSTS WHICH WERE PAID BY THE SELLER. HOWEVER, YOU INDICATE THAT SUCH CLOSING COSTS WERE INCLUDED IN THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE RESIDENCE AND THAT YOUR LOAN WAS INCREASED TO THAT EXTENT WHICH IS TANTAMOUNT TO THE CLOSING COSTS BEING PAID BY YOU. ALSO, YOU SAY YOU HAD NOT BEEN INFORMED OF OUR DECISIONS HOLDING TO THE CONTRARY UNTIL COPIES THEREOF WERE ENCLOSED WITH THE FINANCE DIVISION'S MEMORANDUM DATED MARCH 26, 1969.

REGARDING THE DECISIONS THAT YOU MENTION, WE ENCLOSE HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE COPIES OF OTHER OF OUR DECISIONS B-162835 DATED DECEMBER 21, 1967, B-164604 DATED JULY 29, 1968, B-165280 DATED MARCH 3, 1969, AND B- 165841 DATED JANUARY 22, 1969, WHICH RELATE TO THE SAME SUBJECT MATTER INVOLVED IN YOUR CLAIM. THOSE DECISIONS ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT WE WILL NOT LOOK BEHIND THE SELLING PRICE OF A RESIDENCE TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER SUCH PRICE INCLUDED CLOSING COSTS WHICH THE SELLER HAD AGREED TO PAY SO AS TO PERMIT THE PURCHASER -- IF SUCH BE A FACT -- TO THEN CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT OF THE CLOSING COSTS ON THE BASIS THAT HE, THE PURCHASER, IS ACTUALLY THE PAYER THEREOF.

WE HAVE CAREFULLY REEXAMINED OUR POSITION AS SET FORTH IN THE ABOVE DECISIONS IN THE LIGHT OF THE VIEWS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER BUT OUR OPINION IS THAT NO PROPER BASIS EXISTS FOR REVERSING SUCH DECISIONS. MOREOVER, THE FACT THAT YOU HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF OUR DECISIONS IN THIS AREA PRIOR TO YOUR TRANSFER MAY NOT SERVE AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWING YOUR PARTICULAR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU SHOULD MAKE PROPER ARRANGEMENTS TO REFUND THE AMOUNT ERRONEOUSLY RECEIVED BY YOU.